Complete List of Dragon*Con Voice Actor Events

09.03.2010

I’ve been asked by several individuals attending Dragon*Con if I would list all of the voice actor panels I’m involved with along with other related panels of note. As you will see below, there are so many related events that this was a rather daunting task. I hope my efforts will be useful as a guide to those attending the con.

Please note that the schedule and guests listed below are subject to change. Check The Daily Dragon regularly for up-to-the-minute schedule and guest updates.

Locations for each panel/event are not listed due to the possibility of changes. For those attending Dragon*Con please check your Pocket Program Guide, and every morning when you arrive at the con be sure to pick up a copy of The Daily Dragon from the local D*Con Info booth which contains all updates and changes.

FRIDAY

– 10:00 AM – Snydecast & FRED Entertainment
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 11:30 AM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Squidbillies Panel
Featuring live script reads with a full cast: Jim Fortier, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Daniel Baker (Unknown Hinson), Daniel McDevitt, Dana Snyder, Bobby Ellerbee, Mary Kraft, and Scott Hilley. Autograph session to follow.

– 1:00 PM – Bill Corbett (Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Rifftrax)

– 2:30 PM – Trace Beaulieu (MST3K, Cinematic Titanic)

– 2:30 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Clone Wars cast members Ashley Eckstein, Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

– 2:30 PM – Voice Acting for Podcasters
Panel description: “Learn the finer points of voice acting and voice overs to enhance your podcast.” [No industry guests listed for this event.]

– 4:00 PM – Darkstar: The Interactive Movie
Featuring MST3K’s Trace Beaulieu

– 4:00 PM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, and John DiMaggio. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

– 5:30 PM – The Animation Fan Fun Panel
Hosted by yours truly, Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, with special industry guests (TBA). Light on commentary and packed with voice actor improv, a wild Old Time Radio script read, and trivia contest with prizes. Sponsored by toonzone.net and Voice Actors in the News.

– 5:30 PM – Akira: The Great Dub Debate – Streamline or Pioneer?
Fan panel discussing the two dubs of the classic anime film.

– 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live performance by local audio drama troupe.

– 7:00 PM – [adult swim] Comedy
Fan panel with industry guests TBA.

– 8:30 PM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Fan Panel
Industry guests also possible for this panel.

– 8:30 PM – MST3K and Cinematic Titanic
Historic live performance featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein. [This is nearly a 6-hour event.]

– 1:30 AM – WEEP
Live concert featuring Venture Bros‘ Doc Hammer on lead vocals and guitar.

SATURDAY

– 11:30 AM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, John DiMaggio, and Tom Kenny. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

– 11:30 AM – MST3K
Panel presentation featuring Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein.

– 1:00 PM – Venture Bros. Guests
Featuring Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick. Autograph session to follow.

– 1:00 PM – FUNimation Entertainment Industry Panel and Q&A
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 1:00 PM – Star Wars Costume Contest
Emceed by Ashley Eckstein.

– 4:00 PM – Bizarro Saturday Morning
Adult Swim voice actor/animator/artist C. Martin Croker hosts this vintage film showcase. Here’s Clay’s description of the show:
“Bizarro Saturday Morning” is a film series (all 16mm from my own collection) that I’ve shown around the South – but primarily at [Atlanta’s] Historic Plaza Theater – of vintage, rarely seen and usually offbeat cartoons from the 1930s through the 1980s intercut with vintage Toy and TV spots mostly from the 1960s and 70s.”

– 4:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

– 8:30 PM – Quantum Quest
Animated feature film screening with guest Tom Kenny.

– 8:30 PM – FUNimation presents: Anime’s Greatest Hits – The Best Scenes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 10:00 PM – Nuts on the Road: The Quiz Show
Improvised game show with contestants Dana Snyder, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Adam Savage, J. Weinstein and Kevin Murphy.

SUNDAY

– 10:00 AM – Tom Servo vs Tom Servo
MST3K event featuring Kevin Murphy vs J. Elvis Weinstein.

– 11:30 AM – Squidbillies Fan Panel
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 11:30 AM – Gargoyles: The Animated Series
Featuring cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis.

– 1:00 PM – Stories with Uncle George
George Lowe’s popular one-man panel show.

– 1:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Daniel Logan and Ashley Eckstein.

– 2:30 PM – Voice Acting Workshop
Featuring voice-over professional September Day and anime/video game voice actor Bob Carter.
Panel description: “Ever wanted to break into the voice over industry but just didn’t know where to start? Don’t have thousands to spend flying out to Los Angeles or New York for weekend-long workshops? How about coming to a workshop to learn what it REALLY takes to get started in this awesome industry right here in Atlanta? You don’t need a ton of money to launch your voice over career!”

– 2:30 PM – MST3K: Meet the Mads
Panel featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, J. Weinstein, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy.

– 4:00 PM – Futurama Cast Panel
Featuring Billy West, John DiMaggio and Phil LaMarr. (Maurice LaMarche unfortunately had to cancel his appearance at the convention.)

– 4:00 PM – Master Shake Tells it Like it Is
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 5:30 – FUNimation Anime Sneak Peaks and Prizes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 5:30 – Meet Chad Vader!
Featuring the star of popular YouTube adventures of Darth Vader’s less fortunate brother, Chad Vader, who has also voiced Vader for LucasArts video games.

– 5:30 PM – Rifftrax Live…sort of
Featuring Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.

– 7:00 PM – What’s on Dana Snyder’s iPod
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live peformance.

– 8:30 PM – David Bowie: Loving the Alien
Featuring Doc Hammer.


MONDAY

– 10:00 AM – Clone Wars & Star Wars Cartoons
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Ashley Eckstein.

Other celebrity guests will be in attendance who have voiced characters for animated productions. Please check the Pocket Program Guide for the panels and autograph sessions they are participating in.

Thanks to all the following sites for providing detailed schedules for Dragon*Con:

Anime-Manga Track (by Jake)
http://anime.dragoncon.org/2010/08/22/anime-manga-track-schedule-subject-to-change/

Animation Track (by Jess)
http://dragontoon.moonfruit.com/#/schedule-2009/4534639034

Star Wars Track
http://www.swatdc.com/

MST3KInfo
http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=7080

Venture Bros Blog
http://venturebrosblog.com/dragon-con/

[adult swim] Central (by John)
http://www.adultswimcentral.com/dc10.html

[adult swim] Official
http://www.adultswim.com/presents/dragon-con/index.html


Futurama Cast @ Atlanta’s Dragon*Con 2010

08.18.2010

Four Three principal Futurama cast members will be attending Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA September 3-6, 2010.

Billy West, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche are all scheduled to appear at the con and will be participating in panels hosted by Dragon*Con’s Animation Track.

Billy West and John DiMaggio will be participating in Voice Actors panels (along with Adult Swim voice actors Dana Snyder, C. Martin Croker and George Lowe) on Friday at 4:00 PM in the Hyatt International North Ballroom, and Saturday at 11:30 AM in the Hyatt International South Ballroom.

West, DiMaggio and LaMarr will be featured together in an all-Futurama cast panel on Sunday at 4:00 PM in the Hyatt Cent. I Ballroom.

And according to the Star Wars Track schedule, Phil LaMarr will also be participating in three Star Wars panels. However, the actual Dragon*Con program schedule shows that he will only be involved in the “Clone Wars & Star Wars Cartoons” panel on Monday at 10:00 AM.

We will have a follow-up post to include all of Dragon*Con’s voice actor-related guests, panels and events, and one of our staff will also be attending the con and will provide coverage with audio, video and photos.

Update: 9.02.2010 — Unfortunately, Maurice LaMarche had to cancel his appearance at Dragon*Con:
http://dailydragon.dragoncon.org/2010/2010-programming-changes/

Moe sends his apologies to all the fans, and hopes he will be able to attend in 2011.

~ Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton
Publisher: Voice Actors in the News


Next Animated DC DVD: ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’

02.11.2010

toonzone.net reports (via the LA Times) that Batman: Under the Red Hood will be the next at the next DC Comics animated direct-to-video title adapting “the recent storyline from the 2005 Batman comics written by Judd Winick, who is also apparently writing the screenplay to the movie.”

Brandon Vietti will direct, and the voice cast will feature Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) as Batman, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) as the Red Hood, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing, John DiMaggio as the Joker, and Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter franchise) as Ra’s al-Ghul.

Sorry, I can’t hold back the commentary on this one. This is the third voice for Batman in a year. Come on Warners/DC Comics — make up your mind, for crying out!

Granted, William Baldwin as Batman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is forgivable since it’s an “alternate universe” kind of story. Otherwise, Batman should be voiced by Kevin Conroy, and only Kevin Conroy. Even Christian Bale‘s Batman should have been overdubbed by Kevin Conroy.


Neil Patrick Harris Guests on Nick’s ‘Penguins’

02.11.2010

For Immediate Release

Neil Patrick Harris Takes on The Penguins of Madagascar in DreamWorks Animation’s Hit Comedy’s First Nickelodeon Special, ‘Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,’ Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.

Harris Guest Stars as the Evil “Dr. Blowhole” in Primetime Presidents’ Day Special

January 20, 2010: 09:27 AM ET

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private face off against the malevolent dolphin, Dr. Blowhole, in The Penguins of Madagascar’s first Nickelodeon special, “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,” premiering Monday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) guest stars in the half-hour special as the penguins’ long-time nemesis out for revenge and to finally conquer the world. The DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) series, which regularly airs Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. (ET/PT), is currently TV’s number-two animated show with kids 2-11 and with total viewers on basic cable for the past year, behind only SpongeBob SquarePants. The show also holds the record as Nickelodeon’s most-watched series premiere in network history with 6.4 million total viewers.

“The Penguins of Madagascar has been a huge success in transferring from film to television,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “We’re thrilled to give fans this fantastic TV special featuring the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris as a hilariously disgruntled dolphin.”

Neil Patrick Harris Takes on The Penguins of Madagascar In DreamWorks Animation's Hit Comedy's First Nickelodeon Special, 'Dr. Blowhole's Revenge,' Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

In “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,” Dr. Blowhole, tired of the penguins foiling his plans to rule land and sea, has returned to annihilate the band of brothers so he may take over the world once and for all. The first step in his plan is to kidnap King Julien, who Dr. Blowhole mistakenly thinks is Skipper’s best friend. The penguins set off to rescue their annoying lemur neighbor, only to find they have waddled right into a shocking double-cross. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private must escape the trap and save the planet before Dr. Blowhole succeeds in flooding the Earth’s surface in an effort to wipe out the existence of all land mammals.

Harris currently stars as Barney Stinson in the hit series “How I Met Your Mother.” His additional credits include the voice of Steve in the animated feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, host of the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, star of the popular internet series, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and he has spoofed himself in the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, as well its sequel.

From Feb. 8 through Feb. 15, leading up to the “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge” on-air premiere, Nick.com will launch The Penguins of Madagascar The Rise of Blowhole – a convergent gaming event mirroring the on-air episode themes where fans can go on four missions with the daredevil Penguin crew as they battle their long-time nemesis, Dr. Blowhole. Fans who tune in to “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge” on Nickelodeon will get a special code that unlocks the fourth and final gaming mission: The Zoo Is Not Enough.

The series follows the exploits of the beloved penguin brothers from DreamWorks Animation’s hit feature films Madagascar ($532 million worldwide gross) and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa (nearly $579 million worldwide). Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are a group of penguins who believe they are an elite strike force with top-tier commando skills that is headquartered at New York City’s Central Park Zoo. Their orderly world is disrupted by the arrival of the lemurs, who are led by the imperially deluded King Julien.

Andy Richter (Late Night with Conan O’ Brien) and Tom McGrath (co-created the penguin characters and directed both Madagascar films) reprise their roles as Mort and Skipper from the feature films. Nicole Sullivan (Rita Rocks) voices the role of Marlene the otter, Jeff Bennett (Enchanted) voices Kowalski, James Patrick Stuart (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) voices Private, John DiMaggio (Futurama) voices Rico and Danny Jacobs (Futurama) stars as Julien, King of the Lemurs. The Penguins of Madagascar is executive produced by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, (Disney’s Kim Possible and Hercules, Sky High) and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.

About DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 18 animated feature films, including the franchise properties, Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.


Futurama Cast News Round-Up

02.11.2010

Some tidbits on the upcoming sixth season of Futurama collected from around the web:

Previously reported here, but certainly worthy of mentioning first is that Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder won an Annie Award for “Best Home Entertainment Production.” Scroll down through my report and you’ll find a video which includes a very brief moment of footage showing the Futurama cast and crew receiving the award, with a shout-out from Bender (John DiMaggio).

– Via SLURMED.com (aka Futurama Point): The Kevin Pollack Chat Show interviews Billy West and John DiMaggio — fast-forward through Pollack’s opening commentary to the 17:45 mark to see the interview which is both long and wonderful:

– Season 6 3-minute preview from the October 2009 Florida Animation Supercon:

(with better video)

(with better audio)

– Also from the Florida Animation Supercon: John DiMaggio interviewed by plughitzlive.com (in two parts):

Honestly, you could waste away an hour or so watching all the panel footage and interviews that plughitzlive shot at the con, and most of it is full of Futurama goodness. Watch it all here:


http://www.youtube.com/user/PLuGHiTzLive

– On September 2nd, 2009, Maurice LaMarche revealed via a very brief video on Facebook that late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson will guest star in the upcoming season.

On January 8th, Moe announced that the cast was doing a table read for the landmark 100th episode of the series. Fellow cast members mentioned: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Phil LaMarr, Dave Herman and Lauren Tom.

On a related note, GotFuturama.com has a “teaser” from David X. Cohen on what the 100th episode and Holiday-themed episodes will include:

Episode 100 which was recorded the other day may serve as a mini-season finale depending on Comedy Central of course. Also, episode 101 is an Anthology of Interest-style episode with 3 stories based on Xmas, Robanukah, and Kwanzaa.

– Via RadioInk.com: Phil Hendrie, voice of various members of the Waterfall family on Futurama (as well as Tom Landry and Little John on King of the Hill), will be the keynote speaker at the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Luncheon on April 13 in Las Vegas.

– Via GotFuturama.com:

Billy West, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche and Phil LaMarr will be making an appearance at the Wizard World Comic Con in Anaheim, CA.

The convention runs from April 16th to April 18th and includes appearances from lots of stars including several Star Trek actors who also guested on Futurama.

SciFiWire.com posted an interview with Katey Sagal in mid-January discussing details on what to expect in the upcoming season. “It is so funny,” Sagal said. “I can’t wait for people to see it. I’ve always thought the writing is amazing, but this year it’s hysterically funny.” The article also mentions that 12 of the 26 planned episodes have been recorded as of that posting.

– Newsarama.com has an interview with Phil LaMarr discussing Futurama which I covered in a separate post (which also includes a video of LaMarr at the Animation Supercon discussing Futurama).

And since what LaMarr says specifically pertains to this report, I’ll repeat it here:

“[T]he new episodes, in my opinion, are the best yet,” says LaMarr. “They’re really, really funny. Some of them are really, really thoughtful as well. The guys have come back to the show with renewed energy. The writers and producers. And they’re happy to be back, and know the world and the characters so well that they’re able to…it feels like they’re better at it. They’re able to do more with it than they were before.”

– Spike TV/Comedy Central press rep Melissa Sugiura tweeted Feb. 9th: “Heading to the set of #futurama. Looking forward to checking out my first voice recording session!”

…and afterwards posted a a couple follow-ups:

@kitchelfilms great meeting you today, so great to see it all in action. congrats on a very funny episode!

@gotfuturama @slurmed i had an awesome time! i can’t wait to see it all put together when we air it!”

– Thanks to Twitter-er @kitchelfilms (one of the Futurama writers, whose identity I don’t know at the moment), we have photos of the cast in-studio recording the episode “The Silence of the Clamps.”:

Phil LaMarr and Maurice LaMarche
John DiMaggio
Lauren Tom and Tress MacNeille
Katey Sagal
LaMarche and DiMaggio
David X. Cohen directing the cast
DiMaggio and Billy West

Finally, according to “kitchelfilms” (in response to my previous report that Futurama was “currently casting”), unfortunately Futurama “isn’t casting voice actors.”

To stay informed of future developments on Futurama’s sixth season, please visit TheInfosphere.org (The Futurama Wiki).

Additional Sources: Except where noted, most of the above news items are courtesy of the fans on the Futurama forum PEELIFIED.com — The Planet Express Employee Lounge. Nice work keeping fans updated, PEEL members!

Related post: 7.17.2010 — Futurama Cast Full Coverage


More Blogging About Voice Actors

01.19.2010

Just to prove to my wife that there are other people who also feel compelled to blog about voice actors…

TheSixthAxis.com blogger Lewis G has posted the second in a pictorial series highlighting video game voice actors and the characters they voice.

Part 1 features Linda Hunt, T.C. Carson, James Arnold Taylor, Mark Hamill, Kevin McKidd and Nolan North.

Part 2 features John Di Maggio, David Kaye, Sean Pertwee, Steve Downes and Paul Eiding.

Related post: 8.21.2009 — Sometimes Other People Blog About Voice Actors Too


Batman: The Brave and The Bold Soundtrack Release

10.09.2009

For Immediate Release

The Caped Crusader faces a new villain in the upcoming Batman: The Brave & The Bold episode, “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” The episode, from Warner Bros Animation, features the voice of Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) as the Music Meister, a menacing villain who is able to exert powerful mind-control through song. Producers and cast members received a standing ovation following a sneak-preview at Comic-Con this past July and, after much anticipation, the episode will finally air Friday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network.

On Saturday, October 24, New Line Records will release Batman: The Brave & The Bold: Mayhem of the Music Meister! – Soundtrack from the Animated Television Show digitally on iTunes and other digital music outlets. Amazon.com will offer fans the exclusive option of purchasing either a hard or digital copy of the soundtrack. The soundtrack will feature all five original songs from the episode as well as the highly sought Batman: The Brave & The Bold theme.

“Being approached by the producers to do a ‘Batman Musical’ was a complete surprise and total thrill,” said composers Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter. The phenomenal cast and musicians brought each song to life and we are so happy New Line Records has agreed to release a soundtrack so that this music can be enjoyed by Batman fans worldwide.”

About Batman: The Brave & The Bold
Extremely popular on Cartoon Network with its combination of fast-paced action and humor, Batman: The Brave and the Bold is executive produced by Sam Register, with James Tucker and Linda M. Steiner as producers. The voice cast includes Diedrich Bader as Batman, James Arnold Taylor as Green Arrow, Will Friedle as Blue Beetle, Tom Kenny as Plastic Man, John DiMaggio as Aquaman and Corey Burton as Red Tornado.


An Open Letter to ‘Variety’ and ‘The Hollywood Reporter’

08.01.2009

Dear “Variety” and “The Hollywood Reporter” and Their Respective Reporters Michael Schneider and Nellie Andreeva,

First of all, I would like to thank you both for your coverage of the “Futurama” recasting. Both publications were among the first on the Internet to break the news to the public.

I also appreciate your follow-up coverage on Friday, July 31st, when it was announced and confirmed that all five of the show’s principal cast members had closed deals with 20th Century Fox.

However, both of your original articles (first published July 17, 2009) contained assumptions, inaccuracies and exaggerations of the salaries the “Futurama” voice cast members were actually requesting. This projected an unfair and negative image on the “Futurama” actors.

Furthermore, both publications (Variety and The Hollywood Reporter) have since edited the original articles to downplay prior misstatements, without offering any printed retraction for the reporters’ errors.

The original version of Variety reporter Michael Schneider’s article (first published Friday, July 17, 2009, 12:34 pm PT — Link: ‘Futurama’ without original voices?) read thusly:

It’s believed that the “Futurama” cast members were asking for around $75,000 per episode; it was not clear what 20th was offering. Calls to the voice stars’ reps were not immediately returned.

The statement was afterwards edited to read:

“…salary offers came in well below what the thesps were asking — believed to be around $75,000 per episode. (It was not clear what 20th was offering. Calls to the voice stars’ reps were not immediately returned.)” [Emphasis mine.]

This statement was publicly proven false by a statement made by a “Futurama” cast member, and also confirmed as being untrue by sources close to the cast as well.

Within the same hour Variety‘s article was published, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Nellie Andreeva originally made the following statement in her article (first published Friday, July 17, 2009, 3:11 pm ET — Link: ‘Futurama’ cast in limbo):

20th declined further comment but sources indicated that the voice actors had been seeking at least a tenfold increase of what they made when the animated series ran on Fox from 1999-2003. [Emphasis mine.]

And as was the case with Variety, THR‘s article was also edited after it was published. It currently reads:

The cast of “Futurama,” which ran on Fox from 1999-2002, are said to have been offered modest pay increases but have insisted for bumps of several times what they used to make. [Emphasis mine.]

THR‘s follow-up article (published Friday, July 31, 2009, 6:40 pm ET — Link: Back to Futurama: Voice cast closes deal), also written by reporter Nellie Andreeva, includes the following statement:

Financial terms of the agreements were not released but it is understood that both sides have made compromises to bridge the initial salary gap, in which the actors were said to have asked for several times what the studio was offering. [Emphasis mine.]

Andreeva went from saying a “tenfold increase” to “several times,” which appears as an attempt to remove blame for her earlier misstatement.

In the most recent article from Variety (published Friday, July 31, 2009, 3:26 pm PT — Link: ‘Futurama’ cast returning for reboot), also reported by Michael Schneider, the assumption made in the previous article has been downplayed, but does at least correct the prior error:

It was believed that the “Futurama” cast were asking for around $75,000 per episode, although the actors have said their request was actually much lower than that. It was not clear what 20th was offering.

And while Schneider did state in his original article that “calls to the voice stars’ reps were not immediately returned,” that does not excuse his misrepresentation of the cast by publishing an unconfirmed and exaggerated amount.

Now, if the figures of “$75,000 per episode” and a “tenfold increase” were what both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter were told by 20th Century Fox representatives, that makes this an entirely different matter. If that’s the case, 20th Century Fox should have been cited as the source, rather than reporting it vaguely that it was “believed” or “was said” to be what the cast was asking for. That would’ve removed both publications from fault.

But the fact remains that both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are responsible for publishing statements which have since been proven to be false, inaccurate and unfair assumptions. Furthermore, both reporters have attempted to gloss over the aforementioned errors by covertly having the articles edited.

And most importantly, both publications misrepresented the cast and portrayed a very negative image of them to the public by implying that the actors were asking far and above what the studio was offering, when in reality that was simply not true. It’s also obvious from the feedback comments on both Variety.com and HollywoodReporter.com that the statements made regarding the salaries were indeed misleading to the public.

Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter owe their readers — as well as “Futurama” fans and the cast of “Futurama” — a public retraction for the published errors, rather than trying to quietly augment previous statements.

It was unfair and unnecessary to misrepresent the cast in such a way, and unprofessional to change your prior articles without issuing a retraction.

I would like to request that both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter issue a public retraction for inaccurate and misleading statements about the cast. And while it would likely be ignored to request a public apology to the cast for making them look bad, I feel it’s a fair request that would be most appreciated.

Sincerely,

Craig Crumpton
Publisher: Voice Actors in the News
https://voiceactors.wordpress.com/

=======================================

Now to address my fellow Futurama fans.

I have already contacted some individuals concerning this open letter campaign, which according to replies I have received should be seeing some fan forum buzz within the next 24 hours.

Any fans reading this are more than welcome to join in this campaign and have my permission in advance to use my letter as a template for the cited sources. But if you decide to contact Variety and The Hollywood Reporter directly I must insist that you please not copy/paste my entire letter verbatim. Please use your own thoughts and opinions, not mine.

You can send feedback to both publications via the contact pages on Variety.com and HollywoodReporter.com.

Previous report: 7.17.2009 — Futurama Recasting Full Coverage — It’s Over! Futurama Cast FTW!

[This article was edited/updated on 8.05.2009 in order to protect my sources.]


Futurama Cast and Fans FTW!

07.31.2009

Good news, Everyone! The Futurama cast is back! Full coverage now available via my previous article.

On a related note, I’d like to bump a recent feature I did on Futurama’s John DiMaggio, for any who might have missed it: John DiMaggio: More Than Just A Pretty Face.

Additionally, I have added five photos to my tribute article on Dallas McKennon, as well as several news updates to my continued Comic-Con coverage… which I will continue to update throughout the next week. There’s a heaping huge helping of voice actor-related news coming out of the con, so bear with me while I find the time to cover it all.

And the con photos I promised are forthcoming. I’ve run into a formatting issue with WordPress and am looking into some hosting options as an alternative before I publish more of them here.


Comic-Con 2009: Continued Con Coverage

07.28.2009

The latest updates are time-stamped below as they are added. Please keep checking back for more updates that will be added throughout the week. More photos forthcoming as well.

And speaking of photos, I’m repeating this request again — if you have any featuring voice actors who appeared at Comic-Con that you would like to share with your fellow voice actor fans who weren’t able to attend, please send them to voiceroyNOSPAM@yahoo.com (just remove the NOSPAM).

Previous reports:

7.26.2009 — Comic-Con 2009: Friday-Sunday, covering Batman: The Brave and The Bold voice details, Marvel’s Hero Up! Super Hero Squad Show, Metalocalypse: Dethgame, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, OMG! Marvel Anime!, Futurama updates, Stan Freberg, Mark Hamill, Star Wars, Robot Chicken, The Cleveland Show, and Much Much More.

7.25.2009 — Comic-Con 2009 Thursday-Friday, covering Disney/Pixar, Futurama, Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Robot Chicken/Titan Maximum, and More.

7.24.2009 — Comic-Con 2009: Wednesday-Thursday, covering Disney 3D/A Christmas Carol, Astro Boy, Halo Legends, Robot Chicken, and More.

Updates: 7.31.2009:

3:45 PMIGN has a brief talk with John DiMaggio about his role as Aquaman on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Here’s an excerpt:

DiMaggio acknowledged that when he got the role, Aquaman didn’t have the most tremendous reputation, especially in animation. As DiMaggio put it, he was known as, “the guy who’s busy summoning whales – ‘Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice!'” However, any early trepidation is gone, as DiMaggio told me, “It’s been so much fun to play such a bombastic character. He’s so full of himself that he doesn’t realize he’s not in on the joke. It’s so much fun to play and it’s a joy to work with these people on this crew. They’re just unbelievable.”

DiMaggio first auditioned for the role of Batman on the show, but stressed there was no ill will, noting that the man who got the job, Diedrich Bader, “is great. He’s the best Batman for the job. I had auditioned for it and I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m close, I’m close!’ Then I found out he got it and I was like, ‘Well, yeah! Of course, of course!” It’s funny, because James Arnold Taylor [Green Arrow] had said he saw [Bader] go in to read and he was like, “oh, that’s a gimmie!” But just being able to be a part of this is just oh so much fun.”

3:25 PMIGN has a report on the Coraline panel, with quotes from director Henry Selick and cast member Teri Hatcher on Teri’s character voice acting in the film.

3:15 PMG4TV talks with Justin Cowden (Ozzie & Drix, The Emperor’s New School) how he got into voice acting, being a geek, and advice for aspiring voice actors. Here’s an excerpt:

Q: What’s auditioning like?

A: Auditioning, once I broke in, became a fun process. I didn’t always get the job, but I got to read for stuff that was just amazing. Got close on a couple of big comic book heroes, but came up short, which is always a bummer, but I’m a big believer that the voices I’m supposed to do will come at the right time.

Q: When you’re trying to create a character, what’s your method?

A: When trying to create a character, I usually look at the sound they want, then I look for people I know, or people in pop culture and merge ideas to create something really fun. I’m also very flexible with what the producers want.

3:05 PMWally Wingert (Family Guy, Invader ZIM) has photos and a blog report on his visit to Comic-Con.

Wally and Chuck McCann also participated in an “impromptu dance video” (the “Yatta”) at the con which is now available on YouTube:

Look for an upcoming feature article and interview with Wally here soon.

Update: 7:29.2009, 2:50 PM — RiffTrax’s Comic-Con promo trailer:

More news on Rifftrax to come.

Update: 7:29.2009, 2:00 PM — An update on the news posted below regarding a sequel to a previous animated DVD release: Thanks to a Twitter post by cartoon voice actor April Winchell (posted today on the blog here), it seems we have confirmation of what one of the sequels might be.*

* Note: To clarify, Bruce Timm stated that the specific sequel he was working on is still in the script phase, so this appears to be a completely different DCAU animated production that April is providing a character voice for. At first I thought she might be referring to Batman/Super: Public Enemies, but I believe voice recording was completed for that some time ago.

Update: 7:29.2009, 3:10 AMSDNN.com has a June Foray biographical article that includes quotes from her Comic-Con panel.

3:00 AMTVShowsOnDVD.com< has the press release for Farscape: The Complete Series Megaset. Among the many bonus features included is episode commentary by Lani Tapu (voice of Pilot) and producer Brian Henson, documentary/featurettes such as “In the Beginning: A Look Back by Brian Henson,” and behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast.

On a related note, Brian Henson received an award at Comic-Con from The Guinness Book of World Records for “most visual effects in a TV series.” (Via A&E Home Entertainment Twitter.)

12:05 PM — Just received confirmation that I’m doing a phone interview with Jim Cummings this afternoon. I only get 10 minutes with him. TEN MINUTES! How do you narrow down your list of questions when you only have 10 minutes to talk with a cartoon voice acting legend?

11:55 AMScreencave.com has a full report on Disney’s con preview of their upcoming traditional, 2D-animated The Princess and the Frog. (Thanks to “Doctor Nick” for the heads-up on this via the forums at Toon Zone.)

11:50 AMToon Zone has a press release from Warner Bros Animation interviewing Christopher Meloni on his role as Green Lantern for the new animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight which released on DVD and Blu-Ray today (Tuesday). Here’s an excerpt:

QUESTION: This is a relatively new form of acting for you. Did you encounter any difficulties in the process?

CHRISTOPHER MELONI: The most difficult part of the voice over process was that they actually had Sinestro in the booth with me – he’s played by Victor Garber, and he’s not a very good actor (he laughs), so that was tough for me to work off of (laughs harder). But I did the best I could. No, really, I love Victor, and he is amazing.

Really, the most difficult thing was when the director was reading all the actions, where this happens and that happens, and then there’s an explosion and you’re hurtling through the air and then you grab onto someone and you save them, and you’re line is “I gotcha.” That’s 45 seconds of action all I got was “I gotcha!”?

I’ll admit it – while I was performing the lines, I did have a tendency to stand with my chest out, hand-on-hip, heroic-style. You know, the way they used to draw the super heroes all the time. I assumed the stance.

But it is fun. And it’s a great exercise for your instrument – your emotional instrument, your vocal instrument, and your imagination, I mean, it’s like you’re a child – you get to have your imaginary play-friends all over again. I know it opened up for me certain things creatively. So just to be involved with anything creative that I’m not usually exposed to is always good.

QUESTION: Green Lantern is your first voiceover for animation, but you did supply the voice of Spike in Dinosaurs. How did the two experiences differ?

CHRISTOPHER MELONI: For the Dinosaurs role, they would shoot the show and there were actors in costumes, so it was more like looping a scene. I had to loop my lips to what the puppeteer was doing with the dinosaur. For Green Lantern, the animators have to follow my lead. It’s so exciting and so rare that you’re the leader of the parade as an actor. I had my little baton (laughs) and I’m sitting there going like that (waves arms, conductor style), everyone has to follow my rhythm, my beat. It’s not usually that way.

Search this blog on “Lantern” for previous coverage.

In related news, Toon Zone also reports that Bruce Timm revealed during a press roundtable event that there is a sequel to one of the prior animated features in development, but he was unable to offer more details at press time.

4:30 AM — Video footage of the Drawn Together panel featuring Cree Summer, Jess Harnell, James Arnold Taylor, and Tara Strong. [Caution: Adult language and content.]

(Thanks to Jeff Birnbaum for the heads-up!)

4:23 AMAnime Diet has a review of legendary anime director Miyazaki’s Ponyo (US-dubbed and released by Disney), including a good deal of commentary on the voice acting.

4:20 AMSciFiWire.com has a full report of the Disney/Pixar panel’s Toy Story 3 presentation. Incidentally, I neglected to mention this in my previous con coverage, but it is not actually “breaking news” nor much of an announcement that Michael Keaton is performing the voice of Ken. IESB.net was the first to break this news back in August, 2008. Their original article is kaput, but The Pixar Blog reported it afterwards.

Elsewhere, Toon Zone has official photos and stills from the aforementioned Disney 3D and Disney Animation panel presentations.

4:15 AMComic Vine has a video interview with John DiMaggio. Listen for his great impression of Diedrich Bader as Batman around the 3-minute mark.